Two BREXIT BLOWS (among Many)

“Scientists are aghast.” [1] The Prime Minister is still refusing to sign the Horizon EU Science deal. After two years of limbo, projects like studies to protect our bees and work to build on research from the Covid vaccine to protect us from future health emergencies are on hold. [2]

He’s pushing his own programme – called Pioneer – as an alternative to Horizon if it isn’t “the right deal for the UK and the UK taxpayer.“ [3] But Pioneer simply won’t offer the same collaboration opportunities that Horizon does. This is worrying for scientists, researchers, and everyone concerned about the UK’s ability to collaborate on life-saving research.

Over 60,000 people have signed the petition demanding that Rishi Sunak sign the Horizon deal. Now we’re planning on launching a huge survey to find out your thoughts on the future of UK science and research. Then we’ll present your views to the Prime Minister so he knows this is something voters are concerned about.So, will you take our short survey to tell the Government your opinions on UK science and research? It’ll only take a few minutes, and here’s the first question to get you started: Do you think the UK should be part of the Horizon EU Science agreement? 


Grace, Megan, David and the 38 Degrees team

[1] Nature: The United Kingdom needs to welcome international researchers to thrive
[2] The Guardian: British science will not flourish outside EU’s Horizon scheme, academics warn
[3] Pioneer 
The Financial Times: Rishi Sunak to push back decision on UK rejoining Horizon until after summer

The Irish government has allocated €2m (£1.7m) to support Northern Ireland students participating in the Erasmus scheme, the BBC reports.

The funds will be made available to students studying in HE institutions in Northern Ireland. Why are Scottish students (and young people more generally) excluded from the world’s biggest and most successful educational exchange programme?!!

While most UK students now only have access to the Turing scheme, students in Northern Ireland can still participate in Erasmus thanks to an arrangement with the Irish government, meaning they are eligible to apply for both programmes.

For the 2022-23 academic year, Northern Ireland was awarded £2.6m by the Turing scheme.

The final year in which schools, colleges and universities in the UK could bid for funding from Erasmus was 2020, as the UK is not participating in the new Erasmus programme which runs from 2021-2027.

The Republic of Ireland’s Higher Education Minister Simon Harris previously said his government was fulfilling a commitment to Northern Ireland by allowing students to continue to avail of the scheme.

“During my many engagements in Northern Ireland, including with the universities’ vice-chancellors, the loss of access to Erasmus+ Programme was constantly being raised – I understand that,” Mr Harris said in a statement on Thursday.

“Fulfilling this promise will deliver on the Irish government’s commitment made during the UK withdrawal from the EU.

“This funding will bolster the financial capacity of the institutions to meet the mobility needs of their students.”